2016 Philanthropy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

11th Annual Philanthropy Day Celebration November 4, 2016
The Community Foundation of Southern Maryland is thrilled to announce the 2016 Philanthropy Hall of Fame inductees to be honored at our 11th Annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon, “Celebrating Business Philanthropy In Southern Maryland” on Friday, November 4, 11:30 – 1:30 to be held at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center. “At the Community Foundation, we believe that giving back is good for business”, stated Gretchen Hardman, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Southern Maryland, “and this is why we felt important to highlight local businesses at this year’s annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon.”

When asked, the community responded with nominations of businesses who give back in extraordinary ways. This year’s inductees are defined by their excellence in philanthropy and we are honored to be able to recognize the following at our annual event: Eric Franklin (ERIMAX, Inc & Eric Franklin Entrepreneurial Acceleretor), Joseph “Bubby” Knott (Great Mills Trading Post) and Keith Grasso (Island Music Company).

Eric Franklin of Calvert County is the CEO of ERIMAX, Inc., an information technology and acquisition management company he founded 15 years ago, that provide services to more than 20 Federal agencies in nine states across the nation. According to the nomination submitted on behalf of Eric Franklin, “Franklin [also] founded, Eric Franklin Entrepreneurial Accelerator, a philanthropic effort, targeted to support entrepreneurial and development, business start-up and growth in the Southern Maryland region for youth and adults”. In addition, “Franklin has over a decade of volunteer community service, investment and philanthropy and has provided board leadership and service for the following organizations: Calvert Memorial Hospital, Leadership Maryland, Calvert Economic Development Commission, Southern Maryland Higher Education, Calvert County Minority Business Alliance” and many more. Franklin stated in an email, “that he strives to strengthen the skills of business owners in order to build an ecosystem of strong entrepreneurism in the region.”

Joseph “Bubby” Knott of Great Mills Trading Post, affectionately known as Bubby, founded the Trading Post in 1970 as a general construction and excavating, asphalt and concrete paving, truck and equipment sales, and aggregate material sales businesses. The company also provides utility installation, and residential ashpalt and concrete services; and asphalt and concrete, fill dirt, topsoil, bank run and gravel, and construction sand recycling services. In addition, it sells products to residential and commercial contractors. Bubby also is involved in numerous nonprofits, too many to list, and is the host of many nonprofit events at his family farm, located on Flat Iron Farm aptly found on The Highway To Heaven Drive. The general community knows Bubby best for his gift to the community during the holiday season and that is his awesome light display and Christmas market. Christmas is incomplete, if you haven’t waited in line to drive through Bubby Knott’s vibrant light display of blinking mermaids, reindeer jumping, and santas’ waving. In a recent article from The Baltimore Sun, Bubby was asked why for over twenty years does he open his farm and invite the community to enjoy a free Christmas light display, which now has grown into a Christmas festival where folks can park and get out of their cars to pet the animals, view vintage train sets and shop, he says, “The county’s been good to me so I’m giving it back.” “I just did it so all the kids would have some place to go. Christmas is about kids, that’s what I think, so this is all for the kids.” Every night from Thanksgiving to New Years, visitors can come by the farm, tune radios to 88.7, and watch the lights dance to the music. See Santa, pony rides, and much more!

Keith Grasso of Charles County, owns and runs Island Music Company, a nearly ten year old one-stop shop music supply store located in La Plata. According to Island Music Co., website, “we are known for having hard-to-find, rare and vintage pieces in addition to our full-line of new and used musical instruments and accessories for sale.” “Keith’s progressive ideas and forward vision have changed LaPlata and Charles County, for the better”, stated the submitted nomination. “He has found the time to be a dedicated member of countless organizations and gives back through time and treasure to the Charles County Public Schools, Charles Regional Medical Center, the Town of LaPlata, the local food banks, and countless of other nonprofits.” Mr. Grasso continuously shares his gift of music and the appreciation of it to all.

In addition to this year’s inductees, we are recognizing the following businesses as Honorable Mentions for their philanthropic excellence and they are: Aist & Associates/Dudley Aist & Associates; Sage Point Senior Living Services, Sneades Ace Home Center, Primary Residential Mortgage Incorporated, and The Welburn Organization – McDonald’s.

At this annual luncheon, the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland honors and recognizes individuals, families and corporations who have given back to the community in extraordinary ways. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Business Philanthropy In Southern Maryland” and the keynote speaker is Michael L. Middleton, Chairman of the Board, Community Bank of the Chesapeake and one of the founding board members of the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland.

The public is welcomed to join us for this annual celebration. The tickets are $40.00 per person. Please RSVP by October 28. Your ticket purchase reserves your space. To purchase a ticket or sponsorship online go to www.somdgiving.org. To pay by check, send to: CFSOMD, P.O. Box 716, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622. For more information about the keynote speaker, sponsorship levels, a complete list of annual award recipients, please go to our website: www.somdgiving.org.

Help us with our vision: To make Southern Maryland the best place to live and give.

The Community Foundation of Southern Maryland is a 501 c 3 public charity and is one of 14 community foundations in Maryland. The Foundation acts as the fiduciary manager for philanthropic dollars in Southern Maryland. As a vehicle for philanthropic vision and careful tax planning, the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland enables individuals, families, and businesses to support specific nonprofits or support the broader southern Maryland today and for years to come. Create your named scholarship or other charitable fund at the Community Foundation and grants from your fund will always be tied to good works in the community, you maximize your tax advantages and your impact in community today and forever.

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